I thought the song Super Massive Black Hole by Muse was called Supersonic Vagabond and I’ve always been vaguely disappointed that it’s not.
This post has nothing to do with music or misheard lyrics. Other than supersonic kind of describes this goddamn anxiety that I cannot shake. I can’t fucking shake it. It’s been months and months since I’ve had relief. I have moments of reprieve, but the anxiety pops up every day.
So, this is me, not fighting it anymore.
I don’t want to feel anxious, but I do. I am tired of railing against it and powering through. I’m tired of feeling like my life is nothing more than waiting. I’m tired of waiting to feel better. Perhaps it’s time to accept that the anxiety has no plans on moving on and I need to makes some peace with it.
I know anxiety isn’t funny. For fuck’s sake, I know it’s not funny.
That doesn’t mean when I examine some of my more extreme episodes that they aren’t just a tiny bit funny.
I called my mom tonight to chat. I don’t often tell her about feeling anxious or depressed, even though I know she understands it. We’re not a lot alike, but in ways we are. I come from a long line of depressed and anxious people. Still, one of my jobs is to protect my mother from unpleasantness. I have failed horribly, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t try.
As we were chatting, I told her about feeling anxious and when I told her about an episode that had happened, she laughed her ass off and said “Oh, Shell. You should write about that. That is hysterical.”
It would have never occurred to me to write this down.
Last week, Randy got sick. Not scary sick, but sick enough to keep him up all night. Randy rarely gets sick, so for him to be up all night isn’t normal. Since Randy was up all night, that means I was up all night. I am an extraordinarily light sleeper, him just shifting in bed can wake me up. Hearing multiple queries about what kind of medicine we have in the house will definitely wake me up.
I still had to go to work in the morning. I am not good without sleep. When I’m anxious and tired, well, the crazy comes out to play like a little kid wearing rains boots with infinite puddles to jump in.
Randy, bless his heart, was sound asleep when I left for work. I would like to say that I smiled gently and made sure he was tucked in before I left. What happened was, I glared at him for a minute, sighed and said really, motherfucker? under my breath as I left the house.
Randy is an insomniac as well. Our rhythms are not in sync. He usually falls asleep a few hours before I do and wakes up at ungodly hours in the morning. I am usually arguing with myself about staying up too late between 11:00 pm and Midnight.
The point is, I could probably count the number of times I’ve known Randy to sleep past 9:00 am on one hand.
I waited until after 10:00 am to text him to see how he was feeling.
At 10:30, I tried again.
I called his phone at 11:00 am and he didn’t answer.
I went from kind of worried to crazy person. Only I was a quiet crazy person. I was at work, locked away behind my cubicle wall. I’m paraphrasing, but I’m sure this is reasonably close to my train of thought.
Okay. Well. Randy is dead.
You fucking knew he was sick. It wasn’t his stomach for fuck’s sake, it was his heart. He was having a goddamn heart attack and you were annoyed because you couldn’t sleep. Then you LEFT the house. What the fuck? You should have taken him to the hospital. You wouldn’t be a widow now.
Oh god, this is bad. What am I going to do without Randy? What am I going to tell my kids? His grandkids won’t even remember him. Those poor babies. They are going to miss out on so much.
I usually eat lunch at my desk at 11:30. I looked at the time on my phone. 11:10. I would wait until 11:30 and drive home and probably find Randy’s corpse.
I had to take a number of deep breaths to keep the hysterical tears at bay. Even though I was terribly anxious, I could still imagine how that would play out.
I would put my forehead against my desk and start crying hysterically and this is the conversation that would take place.
Coworker: Oh my god, Michelle! What is wrong?
Me: Randy is dead.
Coworker: Dead? What happened?
Me: He had a heart attack.
Coworker: Did your son call you? Is he in the hospital?
Me: No, no one called. He’s at home in our bed and he’s dead.
Coworker: I don’t understand, how did you find out?
Me: Well, I’m pretty sure he’s dead. He didn’t answer my texts.
And with that, I would go from ‘mostly quiet, standoffish new girl’ to ‘batshit crazy computer programmer who no one should ever be alone with because damn’.
I felt like I was moving through molasses as I pulled my car keys out of my bag. There was no point in waiting for lunch. My lunch hour was no longer a lunch hour, it was beginning of trying to find a way to live my life without the love of my life.
Then my phone rang.
Randy: Hey baby.
Me: I’m glad you’re not dead.
Randy is actually used to me and knew exactly what happened.
Randy: Oh, you must have been texting me.
Me: Are you feeling better? Do you think you had a heart attack? Should we go to the hospital? I was going to come home anyway.
Randy: I’m fine. I feel a lot better. I just needed to rest.
Me: Really, motherfucker?
I knew he had been up all night and it was completely reasonable that he sleep for a few hours. It is also true that people do have heart attacks and die. For a few minutes, I went from considering a plausible but unlikely scenario to being completely sure that the worst had happened.
My anxiety finds these episodes enjoyable. I do not.
Perhaps, though, other people find themselves jumping off the anxiety deep end sometimes. If so, I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
Or is it just me?